BEIJING, Dec. 22 -- Lung cancer may run through family members, researchers
said but without denying tobacco smoke as the main cause of such a disease.
Landspitali-University Hospital in Reykjavik, Iceland had released a report that
genetic link might be a cause to the terrible disease -- lung cancer.
|Lung cancer appears to run in families,
researchers said on Tuesday, though exposure to tobacco smoke is still the
dominant cause of the disease even for those who may be genetically
The strongest family link was found in the relatives of patients who
developed the disease at age 60 or younger. The parents of such people had
nearly a three and one-half times higher risk of also developing the disease
compared to the general population, the report said.
For brothers and sisters in such cases the risk was more than three times
higher and for children slightly less than that.
The genetic risk of lung cancer may run beyond the immediate family, said
the report. Aunts and uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews of lung cancer victims
of any age also run a higher risk, though at lower levels than the immediate
The Icelandic researchers said they traced the genetic links by looking at
all 2,756 patients diagnosed with lung cancer in the country from 1955 to 2002
and linking them with an extensive genealogical database containing all living
Icelanders and most of their ancestors since the settlement of the country.
"The nationwide genealogy database used in our study provided a means for
uncovering the familial component by revealing more connections between
patients, missed in most other populations," the study said.
Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths among men and women in
many Western countries, said the study, published in this week's Journal of the
American Medical Association, and smokers comprise about 90 percent of all